After months of taking things out, un-seizing components, dismantling and cleaning them up they were actually going back in and in an operational state. Most satisfying was getting the clutch pedal back in which now moves beautifully up and down as it should and so does the brake pedal. The steering box was refilled with SAE90 oil, I had un-opened bottle on the shelf dating back several years.
The front under dash body work brace that ran left to right (or vice versa) was re-installed, pipes pushed back on to the heater outlets and suddenly a faint glimmer of light was on the horizon. However, my next project is proving to difficult. The removal of the brake pipes to release the brake master cylinder is proving to be tiresome. Not wishing to round off the nuts they have all been liberally soaked in WD40. With some patience I hope they’ll loosen soon.
A couple of spare hours, and with my little helper to hand, was enough to get the accelerator rod mechanism cleaned up and back in. The small mount (circled in red) that fixes to the brake and clutch pedal mounting had completely seized solid. It was so solidily stuck that when I initially tried to press the ‘gas’ pedal it would flex the firewall/bulkhead rather than pivot in its mounting. It took a vice, several soaks of WD40 and a week to free off and enable the small mount to rotate around the rod, freely.
The rod was treated to a clean up by wire brush and two grades of wet and dry then a coating of sprayed on grease to keep things lubricated and clean-ish. It was the first time this piece of the car had ever been removed in 46 years, evidence being the over spray on the special rubber grommet on the firewall, which will need replacing.
Installation was reverse of the removal, just less of the cursing as the youngster was present. The heater proved to be equally tricky to get back in as it was quite heavy to lever upwards and be aligned with it’s mounting holes for the bolts to go in. Next step, will be the re-install of the clutch and brake pedals.
The clutch and brake pedals were re-attached to their mountings and were all moving freely as they should be. The next task was to take out the accelerator pedal as that has seized on its pivot point.
Easier said than done. To remove the accelerator pedal assembly, the heater matrix had to be released from it’s mountings. To move the heater matrix away from it’s mountings the 1″ square bracing under the dash board, which formed part of the parcel shelf that ran the width of the car, had to be removed. Once it had been removed, the heater would only move another inch or so, due to other under dash items getting in the way. With access to the tricky bolt on the bulk head (first one was accessible in the engine bay) now made easier, it was still lots of 1/8th turns of a spanner to undo. Once the accelerator mount bracket to the bulk head was removed, it was twisting and turning the assembly every which way one could to extract. Eventually it came out and sprayed with WD40 and left soaking to loosen the pivot point.
The clutch pedal was very stiff and wouldn’t move under gravity and brake pedal was going the same way. A week ago, I attempted to remove the whole pedal mounting assembly, only to find that a bracket on the steering column was in the way. I managed to remove the pedals, the clutch one being more difficult which also left the copper sleeve on the pivot spindle.
With my little helper (soon to be 10 son), we unbolted the steering column support mounts and undid the four bolts mounting the steering shaft to the steering box. Though a load of oil came out of the steering box, it enabled the column to be turned thus moving the column mounting bracket out of the way. The pedal mount bracket was then extracted after the brake master cylinder bolts and one other bolt were removed from the bulk head.
With the bracket removed, the clutch pedal was eased back on and with some luck or patience, the copper collar came off too with lots of twisting, wiggling and gentle prising off.
The spindle that the copper collars and pedals mounted onto were fairly corroded and dirty, so out with the variable speed drill, a flexible cord with a chuck on the end and small grinding bits (bit like a Dremel but bigger). A vice to hold the bracket and they came up nice and clean with the pedals now freely moving on their spindles.
The little movie (mp4) will hopefully demonstrate how and what was used to clean the spindles.
Not a lot really has happened. I wire brushed the Master Cylinder and Slave Cylinder which cleaned up quite nicely. I also managed to extract the Master Cylinders internals by banging the open end onto a block of wood and with the help of gravity. The same can not be said of the Slave. An air line (will need to travel else where for that one) is the next idea to extract the components.
The Corsair saw more daylight briefly this month before being wrapped up in a tarpaulin, as the garage was needed for a head gasket job on the MG ZR, out of the rain.
Finally did it, I got the slave cylinder off, you know, the one mounted on the bellhousing. After spending 2-3 hours tussling with various tools in the morning I decided to stop and have a break.
After lunch I resumed, jacked the car up a bit more, which enabled the front wheel to be turned allowing more room to manoeuvre. Starting with the coil spring clamps I manged to get a grip on the front cross member, the mole grips helping keep the clamp in place and the push rod end of the slave. A few turns on the clamp’s bolt was enough to get things moving. From there on it was a hammer on the ball joint splitter tool and then a lever iron to drive the slave through its mounting hole.
After some advice from the Rods ‘n’ Sods forum, on Saturday (19th) I removed (wrestled with) the clutch fluid reservoir to inspect the extent of seizure. The photos may indicate the level of corrosion but don’t illustrate the fact that the reservoir was dry upon removal.
I had to cut the fluid pipe to remove it from the engine bay. I then attempted to take off the slave cylinder mounted on the engine block. I got as far as removing the circlip before spraying the unit in WD40 to help the removal of that at a later date.
6th November 2011, 2.30pm: Reconnected the battery with it’s new earthing strap, a recheck that each of the plugs were sparking and several seconds (seemed like minutes) of cranking over and the old girl erupted into life.
Doomed by the prospect of no cash and lacking motivation the car cover went back over the Corsair in early September. However, tinkering around in the garage this afternoon and with the likely chance to show a visitor it was time to roll back the cover and show her off. In the time leading up to the visit I fitted the new earth strap (bought way back in June) and fitted the spare coil to distributor cap HT lead that was given to me by Hill Top Motors, Shaftesbury.
The Corsair was rolled back into garage, but the covers weren’t replaced. Start up day looms! Well, attempt two.
…mmm, that old car smell, right up my nostrils today when digging around in the garage for some tools on a non car job. Yep, the passion is still there to get the old girl started, and there is a glimmer on the horizon for at least a set of new leads next month.